LITTLE SISTER was Elvis’ sixth single of the new decade, and was a worldwide smash—or at least one of the two sides of this record was hit somewhere. At this time (1961–1962), RCA Victor was issuing Presley’s new singles in the US as both standard 45s and as 33⅓ rpm records. The latter was a new format that the company dubbed Compact 33 Singles. Little Sister / (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame Man was one of those.
All five of these Compact 33 Singles are rather rare records and their picture sleeves are even rarer! This is not something that can be said about many Presley records that were commercially released by RCA. These records are also very poorly understood as collectables by most buyers and sellers.
Despite the fact that the market for Presley platters is considered “dead” by many (unenlightened? cynical?) wheelers and dealers, collectors should keep in mind a few points:
•Compact-33 records command prices up to several hundred times as much as their 45 rpm counterparts!
• Compact-33 picture sleeves are even rarer and more valuable than the records!
The Compact 33s are an important part of any Elvis Presley collection and the Little Sister / His Latest Flame Man single and picture sleeve should be on every Elvis collectors want-list.
In fact, the Compact-33 picture sleeves are among the most valuable of all Elvis Presley record-related collectables! The rarest sleeves sell for thousands of dollars even in less than NM condition.
In fact, should one want to buy a copy of the record and picture sleeve to Little Sister / His Latest Flame Man in NM condition today, one might find the values listed here rather conservative compared to what a seller of such collectables would demand.
Suggested Near Mint value for the record is $300–400.
Suggested Near Mint value for the picture sleeve is $1,000–1,500.
Pictured here is a printing error: the sleeve lacks the RCA Victor logo box with Nipper and either 45 RPM or Compact 33 Single in the upper right corner. Suggested Near Mint value for the picture sleeve is $2,000–4,000.
Later orders for the record may have been shipped in a sleeve like the one above. Sleeves of this nature—uncoated paper with a die-cut hole and the record company’s name or logo—are often referred to as ‘factory sleeves.’ They have only nominal value to most collectors.
Compact 33 single
Released in August 1961, RCA Victor 37–7908, Little Sister / (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame, RCA Victor was the third Presley title released as a compact 33 single and picture sleeve. RCA’s expectations were lowered and a smaller press run ordered. Hence, this is much harder to find than the first two titles above.
The record and the picture sleeve are listed and valued separately. All values represent copies of the record and the sleeve in Near Mint (NM) condition. The values that I have assigned are estimates based on recent sales reported on the Popsike and Collectors Frenzy websites combined with forty years of experience. 1
Variations for this label exist: each RCA pressing plant used local printers for their labels. Therefore, each plant’s records can usually be identified by the peculiarities of each plant’s label. Most of the differences are in type-face and the sizing of that type.
There are other differences: copies can be found with or without RCA Victor’s “New Orthophonic High Fidelity” motto. At this time, there is no established difference in the value between the two pressings. 2
Both the record and the picture sleeve for the Little Sister / (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame Compact 33 Single are more or less the same in terms of rarity and value as the second, I Feel So Bad / Wild In The Country.
POSTSCRIPTUALLY, many Elvis collectors shunt these records to the side, considering them extras as they are not part of Presley’s standard catalog of 78 and 45 rpm singles and EPs and 33⅓ rpm LPs. But that is a mistake: these were commercially released and apparently sold tens of thousands of copies.
They are an important part of any basic Elvis Presley collection and the Little Sister / (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame compact 33 single and picture sleeve should be on every Elvis collectors want-list.
Finally, in England, the record was flipped and His Latest Flame the featured side and reached #1 on all of the weekly UK charts! On some charts, the record was listed as a double-A-sided hit . . .
1 Should you do some research on Popsike or Collectors Frenzy, you will see that regardless of the grades given the items, the photos indicate that few if any of the sleeves are truly NM. I have to assume that many of the records are also over-graded, hence the relatively modest prices fetched for these items on eBay and elsewhere on the Internet.
2 This can be also be done by looking at the identifying code of each plant that is etched into the trail-off vinyl (or ‘dead wax’ among older, aging, decrepit collectors like myself) of each record.
Mystically liberal Virgo enjoys long walks alone in the city at night in the rain with an umbrella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig who strives to live by the maxim, “It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know that just ain’t so.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a college dropout (twice!). Occupationally, I have been a bartender, jewelry engraver, bouncer, landscape artist, and FEMA crew chief following the Great Flood of ’72 (and that was a job that I should never, ever have left).
I am also the final author of the original O’Sullivan Woodside price guides for record collectors and the original author of the Goldmine price guides for record collectors. As such, I was often referred to as the Price Guide Guru, and—as everyone should know—it behooves one to heed the words of a guru. (Unless, of course, you’re the Beatles.)